Jonathan Pie is a character played by British actor and comedian Tom Walker (born June 6, 1978) who, since the character debuted in 2015, has become popular across social media for his rants against various political figures from all across the political spectrum.
Creating the character
|“||It's not about politics and it's not about journalism. The reason people connect to it is because we all have our public persona, and he's an exaggeration of that. When the camera's rolling, he is a professional. "Good evening, this is the news, bla bla bla." As soon as they say cut he goes "Fuck that, what a load of bollocks." And then we go "Action" and he's got that public persona back.||”|
―Tom Walker, describing the basis of the Jonathan Pie character to Konbini
Having graduated from drama school in 2000 Walker found work, in his own words, as a jobbing actor who would have busy years and not busy years. During one of the aforementioned not busy years, he found himself being annoyed by how the British media pounded on the newly-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and telling what he describes as "blatant fucking lies", he decided that, having had the character of Jonathan Pie in his head for some time, he would use the amount of free time he had to do something about it. As, by Walker's own admission, he has limited skills as a cameraman or an editor, he needed something he could perform in one take which would also allow a quick turnaround between filming the the video being uploaded.
Jonathan Pie grew in popularity very quickly, with Walker soon approached by several media companies, eventually signing a deal with RT (formerly Russia Today) which gave him complete artistic control of his videos while also improving the quality of his videos with the improved camera and sound equipment RT provided, until Walker left the network prior to Pie's first appearance at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, saying in an interview with The Guardian that the reason he left RT was so the character would be able to move forward.
|“||But you can only come to that opinion if you are well-informed, and that is the media’s job – to inform. I think Jonathan Pie seems to get frustrated - the fact that I feel that he feels he doesn’t always get the opportunity to do that. There is quite often an agenda rather than just telling the news, telling facts.||”|
―Tom Walker, discussing the character to RT
As the character began to grow in visibility across social media, there were some people who didn't realise that Pie was a work of satire and genuinely believed that what they were watching was genuine, most notably when American conservative news blog PJ Media mistakenly identified Pie as a British journalist addressing "his fellow leftists."